Ed Joyce and Hamish Marshall have been included in Ireland’s pre-World Cup squad of 17 which will spend three weeks in India next month.
For 32-year-old Joyce, a county professional with Sussex, it is a return to Ireland colours after an absence of five years during which time he played 17 one-day internationals with England.
However, he has not appeared since the last World Cup in April 2007 and last year declared his intention to add to his 50 caps for Ireland.
Marshall, a 31-year-old with Gloucestershire, is a former New Zealand international — he played 13 Test matches and 66 ODIs from 2000-2007 — but after the World Cup in the Caribbean he refused a new contract with his native country to concentrate on county cricket. An Irish-passport holder, Marshall has since declared his hand to play for Ireland.
There is still no guarantee that either or both will be available to play in the World Cup in Asia, which starts for Ireland on February 25 — players must wait four years from their last appearance for one country before they can play for another — but Cricket Ireland have asked the International Cricket Council for special dispensation to allow both to take part. A decision is expected by the end of this month but even if they are forced to wait until April 2011, national coach Phil Simmons is bringing them to Poona next month.
“Although Ed and Hamish aren’t officially available yet, I’ve taken the opportunity to bring them along,” said Simmons yesterday.
“This is a great chance for them to meet the players and vice-versa. They have proven quality, and will be a great addition to our playing strength.”
The other addition to the 14 players who were in Zimbabwe last month is Alex Cusack, who has recovered from injury but the trip to India has come to early for Boyd Rankin and Regan West who have not recovered from foot and shoulder injuries respectively.
“We opted not to take Boyd with us, as he would have been unable to bowl with his foot injury,” added Simmons. “We’ll assess Regan again when we return from India — he still has a chance of making the World Cup.”
The training camp, funded by team sponsors RSA and the ICC, will take place from November |1-22 and includes four matches against invitational sides but made up entirely of Indian first class cricketers.
Simmons added: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for the squad to acclimatise and bond together during the three weeks in India.
“I’ve put together a demanding programme covering physical, technical and tactical elements.
“We’ll also be playing four games against quality opposition.”
Ireland squad: W Porterfield, A Botha, A Cusack, G Dockrell, A Eastwood, T Johnston, N Jones, E Joyce, H Marshall, J Mooney, K O’Brien, N O’Brien, A Poynter, P Stirling, A van der Merwe, A White, G Wilson.